1275 Minnesota St / Nancy Toomey Fine Art

Artist reception: Saturday, March 3rd | 5pm–7pm

Nancy Toomey Fine Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by Maria Park and Branden Hookway entitled Training Setting.

Training Setting follows the debut of a collaboration between Maria Park and Branden Hookway at Cornell University in Fall 2017 that presented work using a diagrammatic language of flight cockpits and table settings to investigate the social and control protocols that underlie contemporary interfaces. To train within a technologized environment is to mediate formal and informal instruction-where a formal understanding of information and procedure coexists with an informal understanding gained through embodied action. In this sense, training is inherently an orientation toward both the actual and the virtual, as performance draws upon tacit knowledge according to formalized protocols. This exhibition is a further exploration on the language of flight instrumentation and display.

Central to both exhibitions is Training Setting, an installation of 26 shaped paintings which depicts parts of a cockpit along with a contemporary airfield as seen through the windscreen of a grounded B-29. The iconic bomber of WW2 and the start of the Cold War, the B-29 heralded a new era of globalization in which territory would increasingly be defined by targeting. The windscreen is rendered as a diagram that cuts through both an interior and exterior view, circumscribing a visual manifold encompassing flight instrumentation, ground equipment and crew, airfield and landscape. The curvature of the horizon across the peripheral field frames an oculus with an inactive Norden bombsight at its center. The work describes an environment alive with interconnected protocols, from attitude displays to taxi patterns, but also neutralized: a view of the twenty-first century from the perspective of an decommissioned twentieth century plane. The paintings are reverse-painted on transparent sheets of Plexiglas and mounted on plywood panels. Encased between wood and Plexiglas, the images occupy a space between painting and diagram, where they are interrupted continuously across the visual field.

Maria Park’s work examines ways that technology intervenes in our participation in the world. Ranging from serially based paintings to site-specific installations combining studio- produced and manufactured objects, her work explores human presence and agency within a media-reliant society. Since graduating with an MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2003, Park’s works have been included in numerous exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Museum projects include solo exhibitions at The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, MO and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santa Rosa, CA, and group exhibitions at the Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca, NY, Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, MO, and the Seoul National Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea. In 2012, Park was commissioned a permanent installation for the new building at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, and in 2016, completed the design of a 150-foot mural for the central subway temporary barricade at the Chinatown Station in San Francisco, CA, commissioned through the San Francisco Arts Commission in partnership with San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. This summer, her collaborative project (Oculi) with Austin + Mergold and consulting engineers Chris Earls, and Scott Hughes will be on view on Governors Island, NYC, as the winning proposal of the Figment NYC City of Dreams Pavilion competition. Awards include the MFA Grant Award from the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2003) and the Korea Arts Foundation of America Award (2002), and the Murphy Fine Arts Fellowship from the San Francisco Foundation. Her work is represented by Margaret Thatcher Projects in New York City and Nancy Toomey Fine Art in San Francisco, CA. Park resides in Ithaca, NY where she is an Associate Professor and Director of AAP Exhibitions and Events in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University.

Branden Hookway is a cultural theorist whose interests include architecture, urbanism, design, and art; philosophy and critical theory; history of technology and science; organizational theory and human factors; and media theory and new media. His recent book from MIT Press, Interface (2014), discusses issues of subject formation, agency, power, and control, within contexts that include technology, politics, and the social role of games. He is the author of Pandemonium: The Rise of Predatory Locales in the Postwar World, and is currently working on a theoretical treatment of the cockpit as a prototype of human-machine interaction. He has worked in architecture, art, graphic design, and industrial design, and holds an M.Arch. from Rice University and a Ph.D. in the history and theory of architecture from Princeton University. He currently teaches in the Department of Architecture and the Information Science Department at Cornell University.